Ireland: Consumer confidence drops in February from January's 15-year high
March 8, 2016
In February, the KBC Bank Ireland/ESRI Consumer Sentiment Index eased from January’s 15-year high of 108.6 points to 105.8 points. In the survey report, KBC pointed out that February’s result was driven by a more pessimistic outlook on household spending power. Irish consumers in February were less optimistic regarding the extent to which the economic recovery will translate into improved financial circumstances. KBC noted that February’s slip was not alarming considering that post-Christmas bills at the start of the year tend to cause a scaling back of spending intentions, and greater global economic uncertainty also weighed on the index. Against this backdrop, the reading mostly suggests greater caution rather than a major loss of confidence.
KBC also stated that, “as is usually the case after Christmas and new-year spending, consumers’ buying plans were scaled back in February; but the monthly decline in this element of the survey was relatively modest. This suggests consumer spending should continue to increase but it hints that the pace of growth may not pick up much in early 2016.”